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JUN 28
Vol. 39, No. 6D
EFW inducts 777 for DHL freighter conversion at Dresden facility
On 25 June, 777 arrived at EFW’s Dresden facility where it was inducted for conversion to freighter configuration. Not a “777” airframe, but rather an A330-300 with MSN 777 (ex-China Eastern Airlines) [FAT 005033].

Following conversion, the aircraft will be the fourth A330 to be converted and enter service on behalf of DHL Express, operated by ASL Airlines Ireland. The express carrier’s first two conversions (127 and 116) have already been redelivered, while a third aircraft (231, ex-Thai Airways) is finishing conversion in Dresden. A redelivery date has not yet been confirmed, but Cargo Facts would not be surprised to see the aircraft operating ahead of this year’s peak season.

Once unit 777 is converted and redelivered, DHL’s A330-300 passenger-to-freighter conversion backlog with EFW, the 60/40 joint venture between ST Aerospace Engineering and Airbus, will stand at four firm with options for ten more. While 777 will fulfill DHL’s launch order for four conversions, the company upped its commitment to the program at the 2017 Paris Air Show with an order for four more and options for ten A330P2Fs.

In addition to the A330-300, EFW’s A330P2F program also includes the smaller A330-200P2F. So far, the only customer for that program is EgyptAir Cargo, which has its third A330-200 in conversion now and will likely add more.
West Atlantic returns a 767-200F to CAM
Sweden-based West Atlantic flew one of its four 767-200BDSFs (22788, ex-ABX) from Leipzig (LEJ) via Bangor (BGR) to Columbus (LCK) late last week. The airline confirmed to Cargo Facts that the aircraft came off lease and was being redelivered to lessor Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM) [FAT 005027].

This aircraft was a relatively recent addition to the West Atlantic fleet, having only joined in December 2018 [FAT 004723]. The other three 767-200BDSFs in West Atlantic’s fleet are also on lease from CAM. The carrier said that it returned the 767 because it was unable to secure any further long-term commitment for the aircraft in the European Union, “given the current market conditions and geopolitical uncertainties.”

West Atlantic added that it would consider adding more 767Fs if it found suitable commercial opportunities, but at this point, many of its customers are adopting a wait-and-see approach and are therefore cautious of over-exposure.

KLM leases Atlas Air 747 to cover maintenance, incident at Dar-es-Salaam

One of KLM Cargo’s 747-400ERFs (33694) is grounded at Schiphol (AMS) after having been involved in a ground incident at Dar-es-Salaam (DAR) last week. Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo confirmed to Cargo Facts that the aircraft is expected to be out of service until 1 July.

Coincidentally, the carrier said that it had already arranged a short-term ACMI lease of an Atlas Air 747-400F before the incident to replace another of its 747-400ERFs (33696) during scheduled heavy maintenance, originally planned for last week. The carrier brought forward the lease slightly to help in the recovery of the ground incident. Based on data from Flightradar24, Cargo Facts believes this aircraft is MSN 32840, an Atlas 747 on lease from GECAS that has been flying trans-Atlantic routes from AMS to South America on behalf of KLM for the past week [FAT 005032].

Air France-KLM also said that it was able to push back 33696’s D-check by five days to make up for the lost capacity during 33694’s down time. Unit 33696 flew to Xiamen (XMN) yesterday for the D-check at the Taikoo (Xiamen) Aircraft Engineering Co. (TAECO) facility.

While on the ground at DAR, 33694’s tail cone was struck by the left wing of a passing Ethiopian Airlines 787-8. According to Air France-KLM, Boeing cleared the 747 for a ferry flight back to AMS after temporary repairs. The aircraft is currently at KLM Maintenance awaiting a replacement tail cone from a retired KLM 747-400, stored at Teruel Airport (TEV) in Spain.

KLM’s freighter fleet, consisting of three 747-400ERFs and one 747-400BCF, is operated by Martinair. The Air France-KLM group recently said that, while its passenger and combi 747s will all be withdrawn by 2021, the four freighters, along with two Air France 777Fs, would continue to be operated for at least a few more years.
Bombardier sells CRJ program to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
On 25 June, Bombardier and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) announced a deal that will see MHI acquire Bombardier’s Canadair regional jet CRJ program for US$550 million. MHI will acquire the maintenance, support, refurbishment, marketing, and sales activities for the CRJ aircraft series, while Bombardier will maintain its ownership of the CRJ production facility in Mirabel, Québec.

Bombardier will also continue to supply components and spare parts for CRJ aircraft, and assemble its current backlog on MHI’s behalf. The companies expect the deal to close during the first half of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals.
Recent freighter aircraft transactions: 
Boeing delivered a 777F (65477) to Ethiopian Airlines [FAT 005028]. The aircraft was flown from the Everett factory (PAE) to the carrier’s hub in Addis Ababa (ADD).

Boeing delivered a 777F (66080) to DHL Express [FAT 005030]. This aircraft is painted in DHL colors and will be the second to be operated by Southern Air on a CMI basis, having been ferried to Cincinnati (CVG).

Boeing delivered a 767-300F (63108) to FedEx [FAT 005031]. The aircraft was ferried from PAE to the integrator’s hub in Indianapolis (IND).

FedEx retired an A310-300F (492, ex-Air Plus Comet) and sent it to Victorville (VCV) to be scrapped [FAT 005029].
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